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Jel Classification:J22 

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Relative pay, productivity, and labor supply

Relative pay ? earnings compared with the earnings of others doing a similar job, or compared with one?s earnings in the past ? affects how much individuals would like to work (labor supply) and their effort on the job; it therefore has implications for both employers and policy makers. A collection of recent studies shows that relative pay information, even when it is irrelevant, significantly affects labor supply and effort. This effect stems mainly from those who compare unfavorably, as essentially all studies find that awareness of earning less than others or less than in the past ...
Current Policy Perspectives , Paper 17-2

Report
Job search behavior over the business cycle

We create a novel measure of job search effort starting in 1994 by exploiting the overlap between the Current Population Survey and the American Time Use Survey. We examine the cyclical behavior of aggregate job search effort using time series and cross-state variation and find that it is countercyclical. About half of the countercyclical movement is explained by a cyclical shift in the observable characteristics of the unemployed. Individual responses to labor market conditions and drops in wealth are important in explaining the remaining variation.
Staff Reports , Paper 689

Journal Article
Why Are Some Places So Much More Unequal Than Others?

This study examines the magnitude and sources of regional wage inequality in the United States. The authors find that, as in the nation as a whole, wage inequality has increased in nearly every metropolitan area since the early 1980s, though there is significant variation among places in both the degree of wage inequality and the pace at which it has risen. The most unequal places tend to be large urban areas that have benefited from strong demand for skill and agglomeration economies, with these factors leading to particularly rapid wage growth for high-skilled workers. The least unequal ...
Economic Policy Review , Volume 25 , Issue Dec

Working Paper
Estimation of Dynastic Life-Cycle Discrete Choice Models

This paper explores the estimation of a class of life-cycle discrete choice intergenerational models. It proposes a new semiparametric estimator. It shows that it is root-N-consistent and asymptotically normally distributed. We compare our estimator with a modified version of the full solution maximum likelihood estimator (MLE) in a Monte Carlo study. Our estimator performs comparably to the MLE in a finite sample but greatly reduces the computational cost. The paper documents that the quantity-quality trade-offs depend on the household composition and specialization in the household. Using ...
Working Papers , Paper 2015-20

Working Paper
Consumption and Hours between the United States and France

We document large differences between the United States and France in allocations of consumption expenditures and time by age. Using a life-cycle model, we quantify to what extent tax and transfer programs and market and home productivity can account for the differences. We find that while labor efficiency by age and home-production productivity are crucial in accounting for the differences in the allocation of time, the consumption tax and social security are more important regarding allocation of expenditures. Adopting the U.S. consumption tax decreases welfare in France, and adopting the ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2021-7

Working Paper
Labor market polarization over the business cycle

One of the most important long-run trends in the U.S. labor market is polarization, defined as the relative growth of employment in high-skill jobs (such as management and technical positions) and low-skill jobs (such as food-service and janitorial work) amid the concurrent decline in middle-skill jobs (such as clerical, construction, manufacturing, and retail occupations). Middle-skill job losses typically result from outsourcing labor to lower-wage countries or from substituting automated technologies for routine tasks. Economists are now beginning to study how long-run polarization might ...
Working Papers , Paper 14-16

Working Paper
Estimating Taxable Income Responses with Elasticity Heterogeneity

We extend a standard taxable income model with its typical functional-form assumptions to account for nonlinear budget sets. We propose a new method to estimate taxable income elasticity that is more policy relevant than the typically estimated elasticity based on linearized budget sets. Using U.S. data from the NBER tax panel for 1979-1990 and differencing methods, we estimate an elasticity of 0.75 for taxable income and 0.20 for broad income. These estimates are higher than those obtained by specifications based on linearization. Our approach offers a new way to address the problem of ...
Working Papers , Paper 1611

Working Paper
Does immigration crowd natives into or out of higher education?

Over the past several decades, the United States has experienced some of its largest immigrant inflows since the Great Depression. This higher level of immigration has generated significant debate on the effects of such inflows on receiving markets and natives. Education market studies have found that inflows of immigrant students can displace some natives from enrollment. Meanwhile, labor market studies have primarily examined the impact of immigrant labor inflows on the wages of similarly and dissimilarly skilled natives, with mixed results. The lack of consensus in the wage studies has ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-18

Working Paper
Young Unskilled Women and the Earned Income Tax Credit: Insurance Without Disincentives?

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is the single most important transfer program in place in the United States. An aspect of the EITC that has received little attention thus far is its role as a public insurance program. Yet, the structure of the EITC necessarily protects its primary class of recipients, unskilled single mothers, against major risks they face to both wages and changes in family structure. Our study provides the first quantitative statement about the insurance provided by the EITC. We study a dynamic model of consumption, savings, and labor supply in which households face ...
Working Paper , Paper 14-11

Working Paper
Dynamic Labor Reallocation with Heterogeneous Skills and Uninsured Idiosyncratic Risk

Occupational specificity of human capital motivates an important role of occupationalreallocation for the economy’s response to shocks and for the dynamics of inequality.We introduce occupational mobility, through a random choice model with dynamicvalue function optimization, into a multi-sector/multi-occupation Bewley (1980)-Aiyagari (1994) model with heterogeneous income risk, liquid and illiquid assets, priceadjustment costs, and in which households differ by their occupation-specific skills.Labor income is a combination of endogenous occupational wages and idiosyncraticshock. ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2021-16

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